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Care Following Orthodontics – Retainers

After your braces are removed, you will likely enter a retention phase. A retainer can help maintain the improvements made to the position of your teeth.

Retainers are usually worn for a few hours each day or night, depending on your treatment plan. They may be removable or fixed, and your orthodontist will work with you to determine the best option for you.

Wearing a retainer as directed is an important part of ensuring that your teeth remain in their new, improved position.

Without a retainer, your teeth may slowly start to move back into their original position. Wearing a retainer as directed by your orthodontist will help ensure that you maintain your new, improved smile!

after orthodontics - retainers

There are many different types of retainer wear, and they are worn for varying amounts of time depending on the treatment. Successful treatment depends on how committed the patient is to wearing their device as instructed. 

Different types of retainers can be used to treat different conditions, so it is important to consult with a doctor or orthodontist to determine which type of retainer is right for you. 

Some retainers are meant to be worn all day and night, while others may only need to be worn for a few hours each day. 

No matter what type of retainer you use, it is important to follow your orthodontist’s instructions in order to achieve the best results.

Different types of retainers

The following are some of the most common types of retainers:

Hawley Retainer

One of the most popular retainer designs is the Hawley retainer. It is a metal wire that rests on an acrylic arch. The wire is bent into loops at each end that fit around brackets bonded to the teeth. The tension of the wire against the brackets holds the teeth in their new position.

Essix Retainer

The Essix retainer is yet another popular type of retainer. It is made by vacuum forming clear plastic over the teeth in their new alignment.

This type of retainer is popular because it is less visible than other types of retainers and it is also removable, which makes it easier to clean.

Fixed Retainer

A fixed retainer is a type of dental retainer that is cemented into place. It consists of a metal wire that is attached to the back of the teeth. Fixed retainers are used to keep the teeth from moving back into their original position after they have been straightened. They are also used to prevent the teeth from becoming crowded or spaced out.

Things to consider while using retainers

There are a few basic things to consider for proper use and maintenance of your retainer.

Don’t lose them

Since retainers are easy to remove, it’s important to be careful not to lose them. One way to do this is to keep them in their case when you’re not wearing them. Another is to wear a lanyard around your neck or clipped to your clothing when you’re not using them. If you do happen to lose one, be sure to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible so that you can get a replacement.

Don’t drink while you wear them

It is important to avoid drinking any liquids while wearing a retainer, as this can cause the retainer to become stained or even warped. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also make it more difficult to wear the retainer comfortably. If you must drink while wearing your retainer, be sure to brush your teeth afterward to remove any residue and prevent staining.

Don’t eat while you wear them

It’s important to take care of your retainer, and that includes not eating while wearing it. When you eat, bits of food can get stuck in the retainer and be difficult to remove. This can lead to tooth decay and bad breath. So make sure to take your retainer out before you eat, and brush your teeth afterward to keep them clean and healthy.

Clean them regularly

To ensure your retainer stays in good condition, it is important to clean it properly. Gently brush the retainer with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to remove any plaque or food particles. Rinse the retainer well and store it in a clean, dry place. It is also important to avoid putting the retainer in your mouth if you have been sick, as this can lead to bacteria build-up.

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